Aussie mother appeals for parents to vaccinate their children against whooping cough

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Rebecca Harreman
Rebecca Harreman holding baby Austin. Photo taken from Rebecca's Facebook page.

A Brisbane woman shared a video of her four-month-old son suffering from whooping cough. In her Facebook post, Rebecca Harreman pleads parents to vaccinate their children against the deadly disease.

“Okay so I know I said I'd let the hate go. But I'm tired. Damn tired. I've been on duty for over 3 weeks having to wake every single time my baby boy coughs for fear he will stop breathing. Every. Single. Time. I cannot and will not pass that duty to anyone else, because I just can't sleep,” Harreman captioned on her post.

In spite of being up-to-date with his vaccines, none can seem to protect baby Austin from diseases. Rebecca laments that watching her baby boy turn blue from coughing so long that he cannot even take a single breath is terrifying.

She censured those who support the anti-vaccination movement. She wrote “I don't care whether you want to try and prove to me that vaccinations and herd immunities don't work. I don't care that vaccinations have side effects, because every person in this world reacts differently to all types of food, products and medicines. I could not care less, even if it is ever proven one day that they don't work.”

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial infection that affects the lungs and airways. It is most serious in babies under the age of twelve months and its initial symptoms include a persistent dry and irritating cough that progresses to intense coughing. A distinctive whooping noise upon inhalation ensues according to Healthdirect Australia.

Queensland Health issued an alert due to increased numbers of whooping cough in the greater Brisbane area. Vaccination is the only effective way to minimise the risk of whooping cough according to Dr Kari Jarvinen, a public health physician of Metro South Health (MSH).

Compared to other diseases preventable with vaccination, immunity to whooping cough is not permanent. It will start to diminish years after acquiring the disease or after vaccination.

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